As a self-proclaimed Self-Care Advocate, I am taking a big sigh this week. There are so many things going on in my head and heart. Probably the reason I took a much needed 3.5 hour nap this evening and now I am up in the middle of the night writing this blog. The nap was necessary, as my heart has been hurting and I have been working hard with a great deal of passion in my Safety role. It's often times a thankless role to be in, but one that I know the benefits are great. I truly believe in the work and service I do. I have seen the results. And no one can know the weight I feel on my shoulders when it comes to this role, it runs deep. It runs back generations. It is in my heart and soul. My passion for safety goes back to when I learned to work on cars with my Grandpa as a teenager. He wanted to make sure my car was safe on the road, and that I would know what to do in the event of an emergency. Back then there were no cell phones, and having car problems could mean walking miles for help. Throughout my teen years and early twenties I learned about first aid, CPR, and other life saving skills. But, it wasn't until I began working for a steel company in northwest Indiana that I truly learned about the importance of safety on the job. Safety became my passion and mission. As know one should ever come to work and get hurt or worse. I have been feeling this deeply this week.
I have also been hurting in my heart over a situation that still feels unresolved and unsettled. And for the time being, I have had to learn to let go. To let it be. To allow the needed space. It has been hard. In this difficult time, I have taken the lessons I have shared with hundreds of women about self-care. I have cared for myself in the ways that I have needed. I have done everything from getting a facial with my favorite esthetician to having a session with my therapist. I have meditated, prayed, journaled, danced, sang, walked, cried, taken a bath, declined invitations, accepted invitations, cuddled my dogs, ate nourishing foods, ate decadent desserts, and so much more. Self-care is a critical to my well-being and to yours. It is my responsibility to take care of myself, especially if I want to take care of others in my safety role or in my volunteer role. As an activist for human rights, I often encounter some really hard situations. And I want to be there in service and advocacy. To be there means I must take care of myself.
I read on Drew Barrymore's instagram page today she didn't like the word "self-care." She stated it was, "to passive for her. The term did not have enough fight in it for her." I hear you Drew! I often thought that way! For many years, I never understood how people didn't work as hard as I did or how someone had so much free time to simply be. Or how someone could simply say no. Or......the list goes on. Drew continues in her post to say she now has a face in Simone Biles. Simone Biles who is the most decorated US gymnast showed us this week what true self-care was. This young 24 year old woman has been through more than many of us can imagine. She chose her health and safety this week. If you are not familiar with what I am talking about, then do a little google search and you will see multiple articles about her decision this week and what lead her to dropping out of the olympics. With the weight of the country on her shoulders she chose herself. She chose her well being. This is the ultimate self-care. Thank you Simone! Thank you for showing so many other athletes, young girls, and women the importance of taking care of yourself.
For me, part of the lesson this week has been about reflection. It has been about moving forward. I can not control every situation or every outcome. But, I can control how I react to it. I can control how I take care of myself and how I show up each day. It is about listening to what I need and following through on those needs. It means I can't worry about what others will think or say or do. I have to do what is best for me. Self-care does not have to be passive. For me self-care is active. It is a daily choice I make. It looks differently every day, but it is really necessary.